Ohio Gov.: It’s all gambling

September 10, 2002 7:32 AM
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Is there a difference between the Las Vegas Strip and Wall Street? Not in the mind of Republican Gov. Robert Taft of Ohio Like so many other state executives, Taft has been under pressure to change his anti-slot machine views in order to generate tax dollars to help ease budgetary constraints. In fact, Taft’s opponent, Democrat Timothy Hagan, has announced that if he is elected he would push for the legislature to enact a law that would permit video slot machines at the state’s racetracks. He estimated the machines would generate $500 million per year. In advocating slot machine legislation, Hagan said he found nothing wrong with them. In fact, he said, he had played the machines “right alongside my mother.” Taft described slots as a “very risky proposition. He’s (Hagan) gambling with the lives of our children. “We have bingo. We have lottery. We have racetracks. And for those who bet on Enron and Tyco, we have Wall Street. It’s not an issue in my mind.” If Taft is re-elected, he is on record was warning the legislature that he will veto any video lottery terminal bills that reach his desk.